India hopes UN-facilitated Black Sea grain and fertilizer package deal will be renewed soon
India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj

United Nations: India has expressed hope that the UN-facilitated Black Sea grain and fertilizer package deal, that allowed food exports from Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, will be renewed in the coming days and will be fully implemented by all parties earnestly.

The UN-brokered deal expires on November 19. The agreement on July 22 allowed grain shipments to resume from certain Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, leading to some 10 million tonnes in shipments and helping to reduce international prices.

“In so far as specific initiatives pertaining to issues like food grains and fertilizer shipments are concerned, we hope that the UN-facilitated Black Sea grain and fertilizer package deal will be renewed in the coming days and will be implemented by all parties earnestly in all its aspects,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said on Wednesday at the UN Security Council briefing on Ukraine.

Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council that the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative remains “vital” to help avert a food crisis for millions of people.

More than 10 million metric tonnes of foodstuffs have now been moved under the Initiative, reaching, or on the way to, some 40 countries.

“The impact of the Initiative extends far beyond immediate ports of arrival, helping to lower global prices for key food commodities around the world,” DiCarlo said, adding that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has continued his engagement with all parties in support of the renewal and full implementation of the Initiative.

He has also emphasised his commitment to removing remaining obstacles to Russian food and fertilizer exports. These products are not under international sanctions but suffer indirect impacts.

“It is important and critical to get them back to world markets the sooner, the better,” DiCarlo said.

Kamboj reiterated that India continues to remain concerned about the situation in Ukraine including the targeting of civilian infrastructure and the deaths of civilians. Since the beginning of the conflict, India has consistently called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and an end to the violence, she said.

“We have called upon both sides to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue, and also expressed our support for all diplomatic efforts to end the conflict. We thus stand ready to support all efforts aimed at de-escalation,” she said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said “unequivocally that this cannot be an era of war.”

Kamboj added that India hopes the international community will continue to respond positively to the call for humanitarian assistance. India has so far dispatched 12 consignments of humanitarian aid to Ukraine and stands ready to do more.

“The impact of the Ukraine conflict has not just been limited to Europe. The Global South is especially facing serious economic consequences. We are also seeing growing concerns on energy and food security from the conflict that follows the severe stress created by two years of the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.

Underlining that India’s approach to the Ukraine conflict will continue to be people-centric, Kamboj said India is providing both humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and economic support to some of its neighbours in the Global South under economic distress.

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